Ohio State is planning to offer an individual settlement program that could resolve some of the outstanding allegations of sexual abuse by former university doctor Richard Strauss, according to a notice of intent filed Monday with the U.S. District Court.
The program would be available to plaintiffs in five active lawsuits, and the university is committed to paying settlements up to an average of about $252,000 per plaintiff, said university spokesperson Ben Johnson. That figure is the average settlement reached for 185 previous plaintiffs, totaling nearly $47 million in settlements.
Details of the program are still being finalized, but the program will run for four months and will be administered by Matt Garretson, who also oversaw settlements in May 2020 and October 2020, the court filing said.
“Ohio State continues its effort to reconcile and restore the bond between itself and its former students and alumni who were impacted by Strauss, and join with them in the healing process,” Michael H. Carpenter, a lawyer representing Ohio State, said in the court filing.
BACKGROUND:A look at Ohio State University athletic doctor Richard Strauss’ career, abuse and death
FALLOUT:Doctor who failed to report Richard Strauss abuse at Ohio State surrenders medical license
Johnson said more details about how individuals can enroll in the settlement program will be announced later this week.
In 2019, investigators hired by Ohio State concluded that Strauss sexually abused at least 177 students between 1979 and his retirement in 1998, and that university personnel repeatedly failed to act.
Lawsuits filed against the university indicate that the number of victims was much higher. At least 360 plaintiffs have filed 23 lawsuits against the university over Strauss’ abuse and Ohio State’s lack of action.
After his retirement, Strauss moved to California, where he died by suicide in 2005.